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The number of released every day makes creating a running list like this an act of madness. Even compared to the ever-growing stockpile of that appear on cable and streaming services or the amount of that debut in theaters and OnDemand, songs are nearly infinite. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, a teenage rapper might have just dropped the next viral hit. A veteran pop star might have returned with teyana taylor and girlfriend 2018 a new single. Your favorite indie band from high school might've just gotten back together.

We know: There's too much going on and there's no way to hear everything. To make discovering new music a little easier, we'll be updating this list of the best songs of the year as the months pass, providing you with a place to circle back to when you need to inject something new into your regular rotation. Think of it as a companion piece to, which we'll also be regularly updating. If you can't find anything you like on either list, you might have a problem. (Click song titles to hear each track or check out the Spotify playlist below.)

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Spotify Popcaan MixPak

Compared to other adult beverages, there simply aren't many cool songs about wine. Besides "Red Red Wine" and "Spill the Wine," it's a struggle to cobble together a decent playlist of pop tracks paying tribute to fermented grapes. So, Jamaican dancehall singer Popcaan has really done a service to the world with "Wine for Me," he debuted last month from his upcoming record Forever. It's a rhythmically nimble ode to an unnamed dancing woman that will likely inspire movement even on the hottest days of summer. Pour yourself a glass and enjoy.

Superorganism Jordan Hughes/Domino Records

UK mega-group Superorganism was , and now the internet-savvy collective has released a highly infectious track to kick off the year. "Everybody Wants to Be Famous" is a whirring, sound-effect-packed slice of twee indie pop trickery that's smart enough to not overstay its welcome. The irony-laced lyrics about fame, lack of shame, and "feeling like a boss" are the perfect fit for the group's file-sharing, which will likely only spread as the band evolves.

Kendrick Lamar SZA KendrickLamarVEVE/YouTube

33. "," SZA and Kendrick Lamar

Ryan Coogler's  already had a lot going for it: a young director fresh off a crowd-pleasing hit with Creed, a cast filled with rising stars and seasoned veterans, and that made heads explode. So, when Marvel announced that the would be produced by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, it made sense. The first offering from the project was a mercurial, impeccable R&B track from TDE's rising star SZA with a laid-back verse from Lamar himself. It set the tone for the reign to come. 

Tom Tripp Courtesy of the artist

British singer Tom Tripp surfaced last year with nimble, sly songs like "" and "," which combined an affection for grime with pop instincts. A video of him performing a cover of Drake's "" with Mura Masa on BBC1 gives you a taste of what he's capable of. Even better: His newest single, "Loving You More," is a soulful tale of jealousy and devotion. Bubbling over with hooks and drums, the track reveals its subtle charms over multiple listens, working its way into your brain with each murmured plea.

Soccer Mommy Shervin Lainez/Fat Possum

Listening to this song is like watching someone yank a tablecloth off a table with a fancy place setting. Guitarist and vocalist Sophie Allison begins the track in a hushed state, singing of a summer when "you loved me like an animal" and drawing you in with a sense of nostalgia. Then everything wobbles. Seasons pass with each verse, and Allison's language becomes less defined by similes as the song progresses. By the end of the track, her ring finger falls to the water "from your bloody teeth." The tablecloth has been removed and the plates are still there, but a wolf is seated across from you. 

Wye Oak Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

30. "," Wye Oak

Wye Oak is easy to take for granted. The Baltimore duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack has made clever, poignant indie pop together for over a decade, and tried out a range of stylistic approaches, from guitar heroics to electronic wizardry, along the way. (Wasner has also released music as Flock of Dimes and the more dance-oriented side project Dungeonesse.) The pair's new record, The Louder I Call, The Faster I Run, is an adroit mixing of modes, perhaps best personified by "Lifer," a track that elegantly threads blustery squalls of feedback with delicate clouds of synth textures. It's the type of song that sneaks up on you.

pig destroyer band Joey Wharton/Relapse Records

Virginia grindcore specialists Pig Destroyer make music that punches you in the chest. The vocals and guitars on "Army of Cops," the first single from the metal band's upcoming record Head Cage, are still harsh even if they're not accompanied by those signature blast-beats. (You'll also hear some bass on this track, a first for the group.) Beyond the sheer intensity of the music, the larger message is one drenched in anger, bitterness, and doubt. "Tell me, where does it stop?" asks singer J.R. Hayes. "This tower of law, this army of cops." He doesn't get an answer but one assumes that won't stop him from hammering away.

Lucy Dacus Matador Records

Lucy Dacus hails from Virginia but the music she makes has a fluidity to it that doesn't immediately tie it to a single region. A song like "Addictions," a stand-out from her second LP Historian, rumbles along a dirt road of memory and regret, which she evokes with sharp, wry lyrics. She sings of "years of senseless waiting," creating a mood of romantic yearning. Yet the music still has a raucous quality: the guitars kick up a storm; the drums hammer away; the melody is drenched in fuzz. The only thing you'll be waiting for is a chance to listen to this again.

Isla Relapse Records

Ilsa makes doom metal that leaves your ribs vibrating. "Hikikomori" kicks off the Maryland band's fifth full-length, Corpse Fortress, and it's as sludge-covered and ominous as welcoming mats get. "If metal is the sound of a well-tuned machine, we are that blood-encrusted, hair-matted machinery after it's ground up every worker in the factory, sputtering and rumbling on," the group's frontman Orion Peter told in a recent interview. Sound appealing? Put some headphones on and witness it for yourself. 

the Internet The Internet

The laid-back joy of this track from California soul band The Internet is infectious. It starts with roller rink ready drums and then a slinky bass line appears at the same moment you hear the hint of a vocal melody -- girlfriend by that point you're enveloped in the group's hazy, sweaty vibe. Since the release of 2015's Grammy-nominated Ego Death, multiple members of the outfit have dropped solo projects that stand on their own, but it's encouraging to hear the band locked in a groove again, feeding off the creativity they each bring to the table. It's clear they're glad to be back together.

Saba Saba Pivot LLC

25. "," Saba feat. Chance the Rapper

Chicago rapper Saba first popped up on projects like Chance the Rapper's 2016 mixtape Coloring Book and Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment's 2015 album Surf, which featured Chance on almost every track. The two artists join forces again on this soulful slice of social media criticism from Saba's new full-length, which should be a favorite of anyone who deleted Facebook in the last few weeks. "I don't want no autograph / I just want a follow back," sings Saba on the hook, mocking the selfie-obsessed culture of the present. It's not exactly the most cutting take on the subject, but the sing-song approach makes the moralizing go down easy.  

Titus Andronicus Ray Concepcion/Merge Records

Titus Andronicus' frontman Patrick Stickles revels in excess. On his band's last record, 2015's The Most Lamentable Tragedy, Stickles spun a five-act rock opera from his own neurosis, anxiety, and despair. The group's follow-up is a slimmer collection titled A Productive Cough, and features more ballads and less barn-burners than their previous albums, which often see-sawed between songwriting modes with wild-eyed glee. Fittingly, "Number One (In New York)" is a throat-searing, piano-driven song that builds in emotional and psychological intensity with each verse. Stickles is still writing verbose lyrics in the hard-worn Springsteen mode, but he seems increasingly comfortable with his own voice as an instrument. With this band, it's always safe to expect more.

Hatchie Double Double Whammy

With its jangly guitars and wistful vocals, Hatchie's "Sugar & Spice" feels like it could soundtrack the opening shot of any teen drama -- John Hughes movie, The O.C., or the recent. That might sound like a dig, but it's not: Creating a dream pop song that conjures adolescent angst, scans as timeless, and presses play on a Blu-ray in your mind isn't easy. Australia's Hariette Pilbeam, the multi-instrumentalist behind Hatchie, showed a gift for it with last year's "," and "Sugar & Spice" is an even sweeter, catchier follow-up.

St. Beauty Wondaland

The difficulty of compromise is at the heart of countless bewitching pop and R&B songs. "Not Discuss It," a single off the Running to the Sun EP from Atlanta duo St. Beauty, captures the push and pull of infatuation that can often fuel -- or derail -- a long-term relationship. The lyrics in the verses acknowledge there's an issue, but on the delightful shrug of a chorus, singers Alex Belle and Isis Valentino propose a radical solution: "We can just continue making love until we’re dead and gone." The group is signed to Janelle Monáe's Wondaland label, home to "Classic Man" crooner Jidenna, but they're pursuing something more earthbound than those dapper retro-futuristic cyborgs. Clearly, they're worth discussing. 

Beach House Sub Pop/Shawn Brackbill

21. "," Beach House

A new record from Beach House is often an occasion to get in touch with your teenage feelings. The other singles from the group's seventh full-length, elegantly titled 7, have provided ample opportunities to revisit the soft, melancholy dream-pop the Baltimore group specializes in. "Black Car" has a sinister edge to it, with an opening synth line that could score the opening credits of a horror movie you stumble on late at night. Lines like "it's like a tomb" and "I skipped a rock and it fell into the water" only heighten the A24 vibes. Where most Beach House songs feel like a warm blanket, this one is like wrapping yourself in a spider web.

Now Now band Sam San Román

20. "," Now, Now

Now, Now's "AZ," the first single from the band's album Saved, is a smart road song because it knows that the destination isn't as important as the journey. The track begins with the creak of a drum machine, like a tire thumping over a rock, but with each verse new parts emerge -- a Slowdive-like guitar line, a blooming synth -- and soon enough the group is gunning it down the highway. Full tank of gas. Windows open. Map tossed in the backseat.  "Back to the heart of it all," sings guitarist KC Dalager. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Neko Case Anti Records

19. "," Neko Case

The cover to Neko Case's first solo album in five years features the singer wearing a hat (or a wig) made out of cigarettes. The hair underneath them is on fire, but her facial expression shows no alarm. Instead, she's content to let it burn. It's a worldview that's also reflected in the lyrics of the record's title track "Hell-On," which strikes a tone of bemused defiance over a whirling folk-rock arrangement. "God is a lusty tire fire," she sings at one point. Might as well watch the flames.

Kamasi Washington Photo by B+ & Mike Park

In June, jazz innovator Kamasi Washington will release a double LP titled Heaven and Earth, which sounds just as wildly ambitious and potentially mind-altering as 2015's triple album The Epic. (Last year, he worked on a smaller scale with the Harmony of Difference EP.) Following the announcement, he released two songs, the punchy "Fists of Fury" and the dreamy "The Space Traveler's Lullaby." Of the two lengthy tracks, "Lullaby" is the knockout, a swirling concoction of strings, horns, percussion, and choral singing. It might not put you to sleep, but it will take you to another astral plane. (Note: The video clip linked above is just a sample of the track, which you can here in full on the playlist below.)

Hop Along Tonje Thilesen

Philadelphia's Hop Along makes cathartic rock that's not afraid to chase musical digressions. "How Simple," the lead single for the group's upcoming record Bark Your Head Off, Dog, begins in a hushed state before transitioning into a jangle-pop shuffle. Then it builds into a grunge-y, squall-filled section, finally switching to an almost chipper, hand-clap-powered kiss-off in the end. As you can guess, it's anything but simple. But singer-songwriter Frances Quinlan keeps the song grounded in deeply relatable, deeply moving emotions.

mitski Bao Ngo

16. "," Mitski

Earlier this year, Mitski served as an opener during a section of the North American leg of Lorde's Melodrama tour, playing cavernous arenas with the captivating New Zealand pop singer and the booming rap duo Run the Jewels. The defiant indie rock of her early albums sounded great at the show I attended, shaking the crowd with raw catharsis, but the thumping disco of "Nobody" feels designed to get listeners moving in a different manner. At the same time, the lyrics are still consumed with contemporary anxieties and personal crisis. She sings of a planet "destroyed by global warming" and a search for "one good honest kiss," framing a romantic quest as an existential mission. When it comes to making songs like this, nobody does it better. 

Cardi B Atlantic Records

Cardi B's debut full-length, Invasion of Privacy, toggles between moments of righteous invincibility and tender vulnerability. "Thru Your Phone," the second-to-last track on the record, might be the best example of how she combines those two modes: In the verses she's threatening to call your mom, smash your TV from Best Buy, and "make a bowl of cereal with a teaspoon of bleach," but in the chorus she strikes a more melancholy tone. She went through your phone, discovered you were unfaithful, and now it's killing her. It's a song about infidelity that captures the mixed emotions of betrayal. "This shit is eating me, you sleeping peacefully," she raps, perfectly summing up the treacherous contradictions of the situation.

US Girls 4AD

14. "," U.S. Girls

In a Poem Unlimited, the latest album from Toronto based artist Meg Remy, is already, and "Rosebud" is the perfect song to bring a potentially skeptical listener into her enchanting orbit. Is it dance music? A love song? A disco, murder ballad? "Use those keys and take a drive," sings Remy over a flurry of guitars, synths, and strings. "Through the back alleys of your mind." It's a provocative invitation: an expressway to your own skull. That she accomplishes that while keeping your body moving feels like a miracle.

Childish Gambino RCA

It's difficult -- maybe even impossible --  to separate the musical content of the latest Childish Gambino track from the striking, ultra-violent visuals, which were shot by Donald Glover's frequent collaborator Hiro Murai. The clip's virality has eclipsed the song itself. But taken as only a piece of music, this hyper-referential text, which switches up musical modes multiple times over four minutes, often feels like a stitched-together facsimile of work by other artists. (Some of them, like Young Thug, Slim Jxmmi, and 21 Savage, provide ad-libs on the track.) As you'd expect from its grandiose title, the sentiments expressed come from a deeply pessimistic place, presenting a provocative collection of thoughts on consumerism, racism, and the music industry. It's not quite a thesis; instead, each line arrives cloaked in ambivalence. 

Bruno Mars Atlantic

12. "Finesse [Remix]," Bruno Mars feat. Cardi B

Ever since the release of 2016's deftly clever , Bruno Mars has wrapped himself in '90s nostalgia and -- lucky for him -- it fits like some vintage, New Edition tour merch. For an artist who got his start as a pint-sized Elvis impersonator, this type of careful, playful recreation is a smart move. The video for this remix of a 24K stand-out, featuring 2017's breakout hit-maker Cardi B, works as both a nimble, winking tribute to In Living Color for fans raised on the sketch comedy staple, and as a bright, goofy party for kids whose memories of '90s pop culture (and fashion) only come from the internet. Put on the brightest shirt you own and enjoy.  

charli xcx Olivia Malone

11. "," Charli XCX

Singer Charli XCX broke into the mainstream by crashing her car into a bridge on Icona Pop's "I Love It," which she co-wrote and shared vocal duties on, and ever since that 2012 hit she's continued to stake out a space as one of pop's most joyfully rebellious provocateurs. With its proclamations about being "bad to the bone" and lines about her status as a "problem child," XCX's latest single "No Angel" is in the same stylistic wheelhouse as her most famous chart-topper. The squishy synths and booming bass keep the song bouncing and the lyrics deepen her no fucks given persona. She may not be an angel, but her recent run of tracks -- including last year's transportive "" with Tove Lo and ALMA -- has been nothing short of heavenly.

Phil Elverum Geneviève Elverum

Phil Elverum's last album under the Mount Eerie name, A Crow Looked At Me, was one of, a work of breath-taking intimacy. Using spare instrumentation and stark confessional lyrics, he examined his own raw emotional state after the tragic death of his wife. "Distortion," the first single from his follow-up record Now Only, works in a similar vein, but it leaps across time, weaving together memories of watching a movie on a plane and worrying about a pregnancy scare, in a way that feels new. At nearly 11 minutes, it's a demanding listen -- probably not something you throw on to relax after a long day -- but the rewards are real.

Drake look alive BlocBoy JB/YouTube

9. "," BlocBoy JB and Drake

Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB, who scored a hit and launched a viral dance with "" earlier this year, is the latest artist to fall under Drake's powerful tractor beam. The 6 God has a tendency to spot young hip-hop talent like he's a college recruiter scoping out gifted athletes; iLoveMakonnen and Migos were both remixed by the Canadian rapper relatively early into their careers. Is it a vampiric act of trend-chasing or a mutually beneficial arrangement? When the resulting song is as effective as "Look Alive," which features some tough-talk over menacing pianos and hi-hats, it (almost) doesn't matter.

Tracey Thorn Edward Bishop/Merge

8. "," Tracey Thorn

A song like "Queen," the first single from former Everything but the Girl singer Tracey Thorn's cheekily-titled Record, reminds you how important a strong rhythm section is to an effective synth-pop track. Even if the keyboards sound smooth and the guitar kicks in at just the right moment, there still needs to be a propulsive beat driving the action. This song has that -- and much more. Thorn's yearning vocals call out to you across the dance floor and the drums await your arrival. All hail the queen.

future Ollie Millington/Redferns/Getty Images

It's tough to pick the best song off Future's latest mixtape Beast Mode 2, a project that moves from track to track with a startling sense of purpose. Is the gleeful exuberance of "Wifi Lift" better than the melodic gluttony of "Doh Doh"? It's hard to say. Even on such a consistent collection, "31 Days" stands out for the way it mixes moments of hardened tough-talk and quasi-romantic ramblings with a creeping sense of despair. The Atlanta rapper begins the song by saying he's having a "moment of clarity," but he sounds as lost as ever. The hours blend together, days turning into months and months turning into years. For Future, time is always elastic.

Courtney Barnett Milk Records Melbourne

After last year's hazy and playful record Lotta Sea Lice, cut with fellow laid-back, indie-rock wordsmith Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett is ready to dig deep. "Nameless, Faceless" might have jangly guitars and a quirky animated video to go with it, but it also has real bite. Weaponizing a quote from writer Margaret Atwood -- "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them" -- the Australian songwriter paints a portrait of a man consumed with anger and hate. "I'm real sorry," she sings. "'Bout whatever happened to you."

Swae Lee SwaeLeeVEVO

On hits like "No Flex Zone," "No Type," and "Black Beatles," Mississippi rap group Rae Sremmurd sounded like the life of the party. But there was always a melancholy quality to even their most raucous songs, a sense that the unending debauchery was also a coping mechanism. "Hurt to Look," the new single from the group's break-out Swae Lee, is a more direct engagement of that sensitive side. Lines like "I can feel the weight of what you say" and "Colors burst and all I see are shapes" give the airy R&B song a drug-addled Before Sunrise vibe, which is aided by the smeared, hazy-eyed production. It may hurt to look but it feels great to listen. 

Ariana Grande Republic

For her first single since the tragic Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, pop diva Ariana Grande chose a title that appears maudlin on first glance. You can almost hear the syrupy strings when you read the words. But the actual song she's crafted here is a hypnotic, UK garage-influenced banger that chooses defiance over sentiment. Being all cried out, emotionally spent after hours of grief, becomes a form of strength. She wears her pain like armor here, and is supported by crisp, dance-ready production that makes the catharsis feel earned.

Stephen Malkmus Giovanni Duca

3. "," Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

By now, Stephen Malkmus is a reliable American institution. In the years since the break-up of the beloved indie rock group Pavement, he's made six albums with his backing band the Jicks and, while fans can argue over their favorite, each record is sturdy and playful in a way that's rare for an aging guitar god. "Middle America," the first new Jicks material in four years, finds him in a reflective mood. "Time gets to me," he warbles at multiple points, drawing you into a calming web of poetic observations, pastoral images, and plainspoken advice like "open the door and piss if you need to." It's the sound of a curious mind untroubled by its place in the world.

Kacey Musgraves MCA Nashville

"You can have your space, cowboy," sings Kacey Musgraves on this clever, moving ballad of romantic estrangement. Marching through symbolic territory picked over by and, the 29-year-old country singer finds a new spin on an old turn-of-phrase, kicking the dust off it with ease. As you'll quickly figure out, the "space" in the song isn't interstellar. Instead, she's thinking about the way the "sunsets fade" and "love does too." The pause she puts between "space" and "cowboy" works like a knife, cutting a cliché in two.

janelle monae Wondaland

Over the last 10 years, Janelle Monáe has carved out her own moon crater on the often rocky surface of popular culture. On albums like 2010's The Archandroid and 2013's The Electric Lady, she deftly played the role of a robot sent from the future. In 2016, she had significant roles in both Moonlight and Hidden Figures, two movies that introduced her style, wit, and gift for drama to even larger audiences. "Make Me Feel," the better of the two excellent singles she's released for her next record Dirty Computer, feels like the next step in her evolution and the latest move in her quest for world domination. Drawing inspiration from her mentor Prince, who, she's concocted a rhythmically nimble and sexually fluid piece of electro-pop candy.

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is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter .



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